May 20, 2011
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State collected a dozen hits, including seven doubles, and the Cougars overcame a five-run deficit to defeat Oregon 12-6 at Bailey-Brayton Field, Friday.
With the victory, Washington State (23-25, 7-15 Pacific-10) pulled even with Oregon (28-25-1, 7-15 Pac-10) in the Pac-10 standings and kept their postseason hopes alive.
The Ducks jumped out to a 5-0 lead after two innings against Cougar starter Adam Conley (6-6) who was likely making his final-career home start. The junior from Olympia, Wash., is expected to be selected high in the MLB First-Year Player Draft next month and the Cougars conclude the regular season on the road next week.
After a rocky two innings, the southpaw held Oregon to one run over the next-five innings and watched his teammates solve Ducks' starter Tyler Anderson (7-3) as the Cougars took an 8-6 lead before Conley handed the ball to Anthony Drobnick.
"That was not a typical Friday night game in the Pac-10," Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "When you go down 5-0 to an arm like Tyler Anderson, you don't win very often. I thought Adam Conley was a much-different pitcher over his last-five innings than he was in his first two tonight."
In the third, Tommy Richards singled with one out and Nate Blackham was hit by a pitch. After a ground out by Cody Bartlett, Derek Jones drove in two runs with a double and scored on a double by Taylor Ard.
The Ducks added a run in the fifth to increase their lead to 6-3 before the Cougars scored five times in their half of the inning. With one out, Blackham and Bartlett delivered back-to-back doubles to cut Oregon's lead to 6-4. After a walk to Jones, Bartlett and Jones executed a double steal. The Ducks then issued an intentional walk to Ard that loaded the bases.
The move backfired when Anderson hit Patrick Claussen with a pitch to force in a run. Adam Nelubowich followed with a sacrifice fly to tie the game 6-6. After a walk to Brett Jacobs loaded the bases, Paul Clingan ended Anderson's night with a two-run, pinch-hit single to center field that gave Washington State an 8-6 advantage.
Drobnick pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning and the Cougars put the game away with four insurance runs in the bottom of the frame. Bartlett doubled in a run, Ard knocked in two with a double and Matt Argyropoulos capped the rally with a pinch-hit, run-scoring single. Drobnick then worked the ninth for his first-collegiate save.
The series continues at 2 p.m., Saturday.